Why did I want to read this book? I’ve always thought of myself as an introvert, and actually (although it was probably pretty obvious), this book confirmed it. I thought that perhaps this book would contain ideas for coping with being an introvert at work, and it definitely did. Backed by plenty of research, the author gives some great tips for how to make sure that you’re not walked over by extroverted people.
Why shouldn’t quiet be strong? And what else can quiet do that we don’t give it credit for?Susan Cain
I found that fascinating, and the fact that there were so many scientific studies to back up the ideas was great.
I did, however, feel like the book was very heavily biased towards introverted people. There were many times where it felt like the idea that introverted people are clever and extroverted people are popular was being pushed down your throat. And although the author did make reference to the fact that not all introverts/extroverts conform to the stereotypes, if I read this book as an extrovert I may find issue with it.
As an introvert though, it did feel good to have some of my feelings/tendencies validated. The fact that I seem to run out of energy after spending too much time being ‘social’ and need to go home and spend time alone – I always thought that was weird, but apparently it’s common among introverted people. Susan says that “Introverts recharge their batteries by being alone; extroverts need to recharge when they don’t socialize enough”.
Interesting for me (and unexpected) – there was a section on being introverted in a Church setting. There have always been certain things that intimidate me as church tends to be an overtly social setting – just walking through the door for the first time was terrifying.
There’s a place in God’s kingdom for sensitive, reflective types. It’s not easy to claim, but it’s there.Susan Cain
I try my best to hide my introverted side while I’m at church – diving into volunteering situations definitely helps, but it was fascinating to hear someone else voice the same things I have felt.
“Everything in the service involved communication,” he says with gentle exasperation. “Greeting people, the lengthy sermon, the singing. There was no emphasis on quiet, liturgy, ritual, things that give you space for contemplation.Susan Cain
I’ve highlighted way too many quotes on my kindle to share here, but I’ll finish with this last one:
Love is essential; gregariousness is optional. Cherish your nearest and dearest. Work with colleagues you like and respect. Scan new acquaintances for those who might fall into the former categories or whose company you enjoy for its own sake. And don’t worry about socializing with everyone else. Relationships make everyone happier, introverts included, but think quality over quantity.Susan Cain